Clean Energy in California

Day four: NCPA, Navigant and alumni reception
by -- March 21st, 2014

The last day of this trip attracted everybody’s attention with pipes winding all way up California’s Mayacamas Mountains, extensive energy consulting services provided by Navigant and a fabulous alumni happy hour at Capurro’s back in San Francisco.

NCPA

The North California Power Agency is an organization, whose members include municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, irrigation districts and other publicly owned entities. Members jointly own and operate NCPA through power management and other three business units.

In Geysers, the world’s largest single geothermal field (dry steam), NCPA operates two 107 MW plants with the rest 19 plants being owned by Calpine.

Control room.

Control room.

Pipelines.

Pipelines.

Cooling tower.

Cooling tower.

Standby turbine for generator.

Standby turbine for generator.

Waste to be used as fertilizer.

Waste to be used as fertilizer.

 

Navigant

Although Professor Timothy Johnson stressed several times that this trip is not internship or job-hunting but for educational purposes, our visit to Navigant excited us: we know one more energy consulting firm. Navigant’s businesses cover mining, street lights, smart grid, energy efficiency, demand side strategies and many other services.

Alumni reception

Our last two hours (7pm to 9pm) on this trip were spent with alumni and alumnae in San Francisco’s Restaurant and Bar. Almost all alumni from the companies we visited came. Those from other firms in California joined us as well. It was like a family gathering. Alumni in California were like our elder brothers and sisters. We asked about how they landed their jobs, what skills their employers look for, what they do in their daily work… We were surprised by the depth of their answers.

Two hours passed quickly. I wish I could have stayed longer at the “gathering” but I had to run for my flight. Actually I sprinted with the two other classmates to our hotel to catch the cab for airport.

If I am asked to wrap up with one sentence for the trip, I would say “do field trips and talk to as many alumni as possible.” You will understand more about your values, organizations you would like to join after graduation and your career future years after graduation.

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo: Courtesy of Shiyao Wu.

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo: Courtesy of Shiyao Wu.

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